a~~I t -~*
The Baldwin Library
ILL USTR A NATIONS
BY EMINENT ARTISTS.
THE BROADWAY, LUDGATE.
NEW YORK: 416, BROOME ST REET.
R. CLAY, SONS, AND TAYLOR, PRINTERS,
BREAD STREET HILL.
THE HISTORY OF DAME MITCHELL AND HER CAT -
a a *3
THE STRANGE AND INTERESTING ADVENTURES OF PRINCE HEMP-
SEED AND HIS LITTLE SISTER.
a a a
THE HISTORY OF A NUT-CRACKER.-PART I. . 163
PART II. .239
cb! I ui ; .. r
SHOWING HOW DAME MITCHELL FIRST BECAME ACQUAINTED
WITH HER CAT.
IN the reign of Queen Anne, there lived near Londo>
a venerable countess, named Greenford, who was very
rich, and possessed of large landed estates. She was a
kind, benevolent lady, and delighted in giving alms to the
poor of her own and neighboring parishes. Her noble
husband, Eustace Geoffry, Earl of Greenford, had fallen
gloriously at the battle of Blenheim, on
the 3rd of August, 1704. His afflicted
widow, who, for a long time, had openly
mourned his loss, still wept for him in
secret. As she was without children, and
felt very lonely, she indulged in a strange
sort of fancy, but one which, must be
owned, did not at all disparage her
~'^ ^ genuine virtues and excellent qualities:
she was passionately fond of animals;
and this passion might well be called a hapless one, since
all her favourites had died in her arms. The most ancient
4 THE HISTORY OF DAME MITCHELL
among them, a green parrot, having eaten unadvisedly
some parsley, yielded to a dreadful attack of colic. An
indigestion, produced by a dish of fritters, had deprived
Lady Greenford of a most promising little pug; and a
third pet, who was nothing less than a Brazilian monkey,
having broken his chain and strayed into the garden, was
caught in a shower as he was gamboling among the trees,
which brought on a severe cold in the head, that soon after
carried him to his grave.
Lady Greenford next took a fancy to different kinds of
birds; but in this she was not more fortunate; for some of
them flew away, and the rest sickened, and died of the pip.
Borne down by so many sorrows, Lady Greenford was con-
tinually weeping and moaning; and her friends, moved by
her distress, strove to divert her mind. They offered her
squirrels, canary birds, white mice, and large cockatoos;
but all in vain, she would not listen to them; she even
rejected a lovely black and white spaniel that could play at
dominoes, dance the gavotte, eat salad, and make Greek
AND HER CAT
c -7C~1 .C~L ~~ rYC'~'
One day as she was coming out of church, she saw a
crowd of children running about, shouting, and laughing
most lustily. She had no sooner stepped into her carriage,
and was able to see over their heads, but she discovered
that the cause of this uproar was a poor cat, to whose tail
these mischievous urchins had tied a large saucepan. The
poor cat had been chased about for some time, and seemed
quite exhausted; and when he slackened his pace, his tor-
mentors made a ring round him, and began pelting him
with stones. The poor creature held his head down; and,
'HE HISTORY OF DAME MITCHELL
conscious that none but enemies stood there, he resigned
himself to his fate with the fortitude of an ancient Roman.
Several stones had already struck him, when Lady Green-
ford, touched with compassion for the poor dumb animal,
stepped out of her carriage, forced her way through the
crowd, and exclaimed: "' Whoever rescues the poor crea-
ture shall have a guinea!"
These words had a magical effect; for they converted
those, who a minute or two previously were the most cruel
tormentors of the poor beast, into so many deliverers: the
cat was now in danger of being smothered by them whilst
they contended for the honour of his preservation. At last,
a youthful Hercules, overturning his rivals, seized hold of
poor puss, and presented him half dead to the anxious
said she: "here, my
brave boy, take the
AND HER CAT.
So she gave him a bright golden guinea, fresh arid
plump from the Mint; and then added: Relieve the poor
creature of his uneasy burden."
Whilst the youth was obeying her command, Lady
Greenford examined the poor beast she had saved. It was
the very type and sample of'the gutter cat; whose native
ugliness was still increased by the effects of a long afid
wearisome chase: his shaggy hair was soiled with mud,
and it was hard to perceive the colour of his coat through
these motley stains. So very lean was he, that his chine
bones could be seen and reckoned through his spare flesh;
he was so tiny and weak that a mouse might have beaten
him; he had but one thing in his favour, and that Was his
"Bless me! what an ugly cat !" said Lady Greenford,
musingly, after an attentive examination.
Just- as she was stepping back to her carriage, the cat
fixed upon her his large sea-green eyes, and aimed at her
a look that there is no describing,-a look of mingled grati-
tude and complaint, yet, withal, so expressive, that it fas-
cinated the good lady at once; for in that one look she
read a whole speech of marvellous eloquence. It seemed
to say: "You yielded to a generous impulse; you saw that
I was weak, distressed, and persecuted, and you pitied me.
8. THE HISTORY OF DAME MITCHELL AND HER CAT.
But now that your compassion has been satisfied, you ex-
amine me, and my ugliness excites your contempt! Alas!
I thought you good, but you are not good; you have only
the instinct of goodness, not goodness itself. Were you
truly charitable, you would feel for me the more on ac-
count of that very ugliness which displeases you; nay, you
would reflect that my troubles spring from my ill looks; and
that this same cause will once more expose me to the same
effects, if you cast me forth again unprotected, at the mercy
of these ruthless boys. Make no boast of such partial be-
nevolence! you have done me no service, for you have only
prolonged my misery: I am lone and unfriended, the whole
world turns away from me; I am condemned to die, let
my fate be fulfilled !"
Lady Greenford was moved to tears by this wonderful
cat. She thought of the doctrine of transmigration of
souls, and. fancied that this extraordinary animal must have
been a great orator and moralist before he assumed his
present form. So she turned to her attendant, Dame
Mitchell, who was in the coach, and said:-
"Take the cat and carry it home."
What! do you me~n to keep him, madame?" replied
"Certainly, I do: as long as 1 live this poor creature
shall have a seat at my table and a place at my hearth-
and if you wish to please me,, you will treat him with the
same care and kindness as myself."
"Madame, you shall be obeyed."
SVery well, then; let us now drive home."
- QL#?r E* r
HOW THE CAT WAS INSTALLED AS AN INMATE AT LADY GREENFORD'S
AND COMMITTED TO THE CARE OF DAME MITCHELL.
LADY GREENFORD resided in a splendid mansion,
on Cheyne Row, Chelsea, facing the river Thames. She
lived there in seclusion, with her two head-servants, Dame
Mitchell, her housekeeper, and Mr. Sharpphiz, who fulfilled
the office of butler and cook. Both of them were some-
what advanced in years; and the countess, who was rather
facetious, and treated them with great familiarity, used to'
call them Daddy Sharpphiz, and Dame Mitchell.
Dame Mitchell was favoured with a countenance that
beamed with candour and good-nature; but in the same
proportion as she was frank and open, Daddy Sharpphiz
was close and dissembling. The butler's wheedling manner
THE HISTORY OF DAME MITCHELL
was sufficient to deceive the young and inexperienced,
but, beneath the mask of his pretended good-nature, a keen
observer could detect his perverse disposition: his large,
staring, blue eyes showed duplicity; his wide nostrils bespoke
a violent temper; cunning sat astride on the tip of his long,
thin nose; while his bent f6r mischief was stamped upon
his mouth. Yet this man, to all appearance, had never
broken his trust; he had observed the strictest outward
honesty, and studiously concealed the blackness of his heart.
His ill-nature, like to a mine to which the match has not
yet been applied, only wanted an occasion to explode.
Sharpphiz disliked every kind of animal; but, in order
to humour his mistress, he pretended to be fond of them:
AND HER CAT.
so when he saw Dame Mitchell bring home the rescued
puss in her arms, he said to himself, "Here's another of
them! as if we had not enough before at home." He
could not forbear sending one glance of aversion towards
the new comer; but the next moment he checked himself,
and, putting on a feigned admiration, he cried out, Oh,
what a fine cat! what a pretty cat! I never saw so fine a
cat before !" And then he fondled him with perfidious
Do you really think so?" said Lady Greenford;
" then he is not so ugly after all?"
Ugly, indeed! see, what fine c
were he ever so frightful, the favors,
him would change him altogether."
I did not like him at first."
Those who displease us at first a
favourites in the end," replied Daddj
s you bestow upon
re usually our chief
y Sharpphiz senten-
began to dress the cat, and though he had,
n;- L ~ ~~-WIC -- F-
12 THE HISTORY OF DAME MITCHELL
like all other cats, a natural aversion to water, he seemed
to guess that these ablutions improved him, and bore them
with patient resignation. They then laid before him a
dish of broken scraps, which he eagerly devoured. After
this they regulated his mode of life; that is to say, the
time for his meals, his daily occupation, and his.lodging.
They then thought about a name for him. Dame Mitchell
and Daddy Sharpphiz suggested several high-sounding
ones, such as, Ratsbane, Featherpaw, and Grimalkin; but
the countess refused to make choice of any of them: she
wished to give him a name that would recall to mind the
circumstances under which the poor cat had been met
with; she therefore consulted an old bookworm on the fol-
lowing day, and he suggested the name of Mowmouth,
which is composed of two Hebrew words, signifying,
rescued from the saucepans.
SA few days after, Mowmouth was no longer the same
cat: his coat had been most carefully polished; a nourish-
ing diet had rounded his shape; his whiskers stood up again
like those of a braggadocio of the seventeenth century;
his eyes glistened like emeralds; and he had become a living
proof of the influence of ease and good cheer in the im-
provement of the breed. He owed his present good looks
chiefly to Dame Mitchell, to whom he had vowed eternal
gratitude; but he felt, on the contrary, a mortal aversion
for Daddy Sharpphiz; and, as if he had divined hin1 for
an enemy, he rejected .whatever food the butler offered
Mowmouth lived on very happily, and every thing
seemed to smile around him; but sorrow, like the sword of
Damocles, is for ever suspended over the heads of cats as
well as men. On the 24th of January, 1753, Mowmouth
exhibited a more than usual dejection: he scarcely replied
to the fond caresses of Lady Greenford; he would not eat,
and spent the day squatted by the chimney corner, looking
at the fire with a sad and doleful eye. He foreboded some
AND HER CAT.
miL3brtune, which did really corn
e to pass: that night a cou-
rier was despatched from
the family country-seat,
in Worcestershire, who
brought a letter to the
countess, from her youn-
ger sister, informing her
that she had broken one
of her legs by a fall from
K her carriage, and that she
wanted to see her sole
surviving relative with-
out any loss of time. La-
h dy Greenford was too
kind and affectionate to
hesitate a single mo-
ment: I will set out to-morrow," said she. Hereupon
Mowmouth, whose eyes were watching his benefactress,
uttered a doleful mewing.
Poor cat!" replied the lady, tenderly; I shall be
obliged to leave thee. I cannot carry thee with me, for
my sister bears a dislike to animals of your species-she
believes them to be treacherous. What unmerited obloquy!
In her youth it once happened, as she was stroking a young
cat, who was so much affected by her kindness that he
scratched her unintentionally. Was there any treachery
in that ?-no! it was a sign of sensibility rather; and yet,
ever since that day, my sister has sworn an everlasting
1. 2 f
hatred to cats.
Mowmouth looked a
" You, at any rate, do
superior a mind!"
it his mistress, as much as to say,
us justice-you, a woman of so
After a moment's silence, the countess added,
Mitchell, I trust this cat to your care."
We will take great care of him, my lady," sai
*;H4 THE HISTORY OF .DAME MITCHELL
Do n't you meddle with him, I reqiesist, interrupted
Lady Greenford. You know he has taken :a dislike to you,
and the very sight of you puts him in a rage-for what
reason I cannot tell; but the truth is he cannot bear you."
'Tis so, indeed," said Daddy Sharpphiz, with a deep
sigh; "but the cat is unjust, for I like him though he does
not like me."
So is my sister unjust; the cats may like her, but
she does not like them: I bear with her prejudice, do you
bear with Mowmouth's." Having said this much in a
tone of authority, Lady Greenford turned to her house-
keeper: It is to you, Dame Mitchell, and to you alone,
that I trust him: mind you restore him to me well and
sound, and I will load you with favours. I am sixty-five,
you are ten years younger, it is therefore probable that
you will close my eyes "
Oh, my lady! why do you allude to such a painful
"Let me conclude. To provide against accidents, I
had already secured you a comfortable livelihood ; but if
you" protect Mowmouth, and preserve him against injury,
I will give you a pension of one hundred pounds."
Oh, my lady," said Dame Mitchell, touched to the
quick, there is no need of stimulating my duty by re-
wards: I like your cat with all my heart, and will always
be devoted to him."
I am convinced of it, and will, therefore, reward your
During this conference, Daddy Sharpphiz did all he
could to conceal his jealousy. Every thing for her, and
nothing for me !" said he. One hundred pounds a-year!
why it's a fortune. Shall she have this? No! she never
The next day, as early as eight o'clock in the morn-
ing, four mettlesome horses were put to the postchaise,
which was to carry the excellent dowager down to Wor-
AND HER CAT.
- "Yh"8--" -\jiSiCII~U
----- .'-'----- -
cestershire. She took a last leave of her pet, pressed him
to her bosom, and entered her carriage. Up to that mo-
ment, Mowmouth had felt only a vague anxiety, but now
he knew all. He saw his benefactress ready to depart,
and, dreading to lose her, he sprang in after her.
You must stay here," said Lady
Greenford, vainly endeavouring
to restrain her tears.
Who would believe it ?-the cat
i/n order to shorten this distress-
inog scene, Dame Mitchell seized
i II ,/I ithe cat by the shoulders, and tore
Ifr' i' '; i',i him away from the cushion of the
S 'riage, to which he clung with
his claws. The door was then shut,
the horses started and plunged,
and the equipage began to roll off
I at the rate of ten miles an hour.
Mowmouth twisted and writhed
about in a last convulsion, and then fainted away.
16 THE HISTORY OF DAME MITCHELL AND HER CAT.
Lady Greenford put her head through the door of the
postchaise, shook her handkerchief, and exclaimed, "Dame
Mitchell, take care of my cat!"
Depend upon me, my lady: I promise you to keep
him fat and healthy against your return."
And I," muttered Daddy Sharpphiz, in a sepulchral
voice, swear, that he shall die !"
DISCLOSING THE GOOD FEELINGS OF DAME MITCHELL AND THE
WICKEDNESS OF DADDY SHARPPHIZ.
agreeably to the trust
-i j confided to her, treated
SMowmouth with a
truly motherly kind-
ness: she took so much
.. care of him, and fed
him so well, that he grew to be one of the finest cats in the
fashionable neighbourhood of Chelsea, which abounded, how-
ever, in cats of high degree. She was always watching
over him: she helped him to the best dishes, and put him
to sleep on the softest down. Lest he might chance to be
one day taken ill, she resolved to study those complaints to
which cats are subject, and borrowed several books which
V. I ol
ill THE HISTORY OF DAME MITCHELL
treated on that important subject. She even went so far in
the ardour of her zeal as to read the "History of the Cat
Species," written by the erudite Francis Augustus Velvet-
paw, a Fellow of the principal Learned Societies, and Pre-
sident of the Feline Institution.
Dame Mitchell's good conduct was not prompted by any
sordid interest. She never thought of herself. "Worthy
dame! Frugal and easily satisfied, she was always sure to
have enough: all she desired was a little room, a loaf of
brown bread, and a cup of tea; a stock of fuel during the
winter months, and a spinning-wheel. But she had her
nephews and nieces, and her god-children, whom she wished
to serve; and to these she already distributed in her mind
Lady Greenford's legacy.
The continued and increasing prosperity of Mowmouth
exasperated Daddy Sharpphiz:
he aw, with a kind of dread, that
the time was approaching when
the faithful guardian would be
rewarded; and he was always
pondering the means of carrying
off her four-footed ward, so as to
draw down their mistress's anger
upon her head. By continually
nursing his hatred and envy in
secret, he grew at length familiar
as it were with crime.
S' "~ What's to be done,"' said he,
"to purify the house of this hor-
rid cat ? By what means shall we
effect it ? By steel, by poison, or
by water? It shall be by water."
His resolution once taken, he
thought of nothing else but its execution. It was not easy
to get possession of Mowmouth, whom Dame Mitchell
never let out of her sight, and who, distrustful of the butler,
AND HER CAT
always stood on his defence. Sharpphiz watched several
days for a favourable opportunity.
One evening, after an excellent supper, Mowmouth had
ensconced himself by the drawing-room fire, and was peace-
4 CU1ART L't
ably sleeping at Dame
phiz entered the room.
"Good!" said he,
Mitchell's feet, when Daddy
" the cat's asleep.
Now to call off
"How good you are to come and keep me company!"
said the dame, politely. I hope I see you well, this
Perfectly well; but every body cannot say as much.
Our gate-keeper, for instance, is in a dangerous state; his
THE HISTORY OF DAME MITCHELL
rheumatics worry him to death, and he wishes particularly
to see you for a moment. You always have a soothing
word to say to the distressed, and capital receipts to cure
them: so go and pay our poor friend a visit, for I am sure
the sight of you will relieve him."
Thereupon Dame Mitchell arose and went down to the
porter, who was really labouring under a violent attack of
Now we 'll settle the business," cried Daddy Sharp-
So he went on tiptoe into the anteroom, like a stealthy
wolf, and took up a covered basket which he had hidden
there in a cupboard. Then he came back to the place
where Mowmouth lay sleeping, and seized him abruptly by
the nape of his neck: the poor creature suddenly awoke,
and saw himself suspended in the air, face to face with
Daddy Sharpphiz, his mortal enemy. In this frightful
situation he attempted to cry out, to struggle, to call for
help; but no time was allowed him. The cruel butler
plunged the poor cat into the basket, shut the lid upon
AND HER CAT.
him, and hastened down stairs, with haggard looks and hair
on end, like a man who knows he is committing a crime.
It was a fine night in February: the sky was calm and
clear, the weather cold and dry; the moon was shining in
all its splendour, but at intervals was overshadowed by a
few thick clouds which completely darkened its light.
Daddy Sharpphiz had to cross the garden and go through
a small door, the key of which he had borrowed: he stole
along from shrub to shrub, taking care to avoid the paths
except when darkness hid him from view. He had partly
"--'-` ~'~")-l--~--~-~-~--s~,1 ---
opened the door, when he
of people running and s
himself, stood stockstill,
heard on the outside a great noise
shouting; he shuddered in spite of
fool I am," said he, after a short and silent
" I had forgotten this was the night of the
it is nothing but a few makerss"
2 THE HISTORY OF DAME MITCHELL
~r7 0 r
And truly it was a troop of masqueraders coming from.
Ranelagh. Sharpphiz waited to let them pass, and then
hurried out. As soon as he reached the bank of the river,
he felt so elated at his success that he began to whistle the
gavotte and, cut capers: his transports of delight reminded
you of a cannibal dancing round the body of his victim.
He ran along as fast as his legs would carry him, by the
side of the river, until he came to Westminster-bridge,
then stopped in the very middle of it, held out the basket
beyond the parapet, turned it suddenly over, and then
flung the wretched Mowmouth into the dark waters of the
stream. The cat, as he fell through the air, sent forth a
cry which sounded like a human voice. The murderer shud-
dered: but his emotion was only transient; and, thrusting
his hands into his pockets, he said in a bitter tone of
Good by, my dear Mowmouth; try to get safe to-
AND HER CAi.
land. But, now I think of it," he added, cats can swim;
this rascal may yet escape! Psha! psha! it's a long way
from Lady Greenford's to Westminster-bridge."
Quieted by this reflection, the butler hurried along till
he reached the garden door, then ran up to his room, and
lay there in ambush, to see and enjoy Dame Mitchell's
lamentation. The good woman had stayed a long time with
the sick porter, but at length she left him to go and give
her cat the cup of sweet milk with which she used to treat
him every night.
She went leisurely up to the drawing-room, feeling
calm and not foreseeing the dreadful catastrophe. Not
finding the cat where she had left him, she merely thought
he had blockaded himself behind the cushions of the sofa;
so she turned them over and over to look for him; she then
THE HISTORY OF DAME MITCHELL
searched under the chairs and tables, and finally ran out
upon the landing, crying, out,
"Mowmouth! Mowmouth! where are you?"
."He does not answer me," said she: "but, when I
went down just now, Sharpphiz was with him; perhaps
he can tell me what's become of him."
So she went immediately and knocked at the butler's
door. He pretended to awake from a sound sleep, and in-
quired, in a harsh voice, what they wanted with him.
"Is not Mowmouth here ?"
SYou know he never comes to my room; you know he
can't bear m
where is he, then? I left him in the
the fireplace, and now I can't find
the most eager anxiety.
"Lost! no, that is impossible He must have hid
himself in some nook or corner. Let us look for him,"
said the hypocrite; "let us look for him directly. Mow-
mouth is a dear creature, and deserves to have the whole
household called out of bed to search for him."
Every servant in the mansion was called up to assist in
he be lost?"
AND HER CAT.
the search; each carried a light, and one or other of them
groped into every hole and corner, from the cellar to the
garret, from the yard to the garden; while Sharpphiz led
the van with officious zeal. After a long and fruitless
search, Dame Mitchell, overcome with fatigue and excite-
ment, flung herself exhausted into an elbow-chair.
z Alas!" said she, "I only left him for a short time,
and it was to perform an act of charity."
I begin to think that your cat is really lost," replied
Sharpphiz, bitterly. "This is a sad misfortune for you.
What will Lady Greenford say when she returns? She
will perhaps turn you away !
"Turn me away !" exclaimed Dame Mitchell, starting
and standing straight up all at once: but the next moment
she sunk back, she changed colour, her eyes closed, and
she fell into a fit.
Daddy Sharpphiz looked on without pity, without a
single touch of remorse; the ruthless villain even laughed
in his sleeve at her anguish.
THE HISTORY OF DAME MITCHELL
DAME MITCHELL S CAT DISPLAYS A QUICKNESS OF PARTS ABOVE HIS
CONDITION, AND SHOWS COURAGE IN ADVERSITY.
lost sight of Mowmouth the moment after he was
from Westminster-bridge, when he remained strug-
gling in the water until he was fortunate enough to reach
the principal arch, to the ledge of which he was enabled to
cling. Thence he looked around him: the Thames ap-
peared to him a vast and boundless ocean, which he would
not have strength enough to cross. So, rather than attempt
to make for a bank which it seemed hopeless for him to
reach, he preferred remaining where he was, even at the
risk of starvation, or of being drifted away by the tide.
At first he mewed a signal of distress; but soon after, giv-
ing himself up for lost, he thought it was of no use.to
AND HER CAT.
weary his lungs, and therefore waited for
events with that patient resignation which
point in his character.
the course of
formed a main
About five in the morning, two worthy hosiers of the
Strand, who were very fond of angling, came to cast their
fishing-lines from the parapet of the bridge. For in these
quiet days, when steamboats were unknown, and the
bosom of old Father Thames was less encumbered with
every kind of craft than it is now, the disciples of old
Izaak Walton tranquilly pursued their sport from this now
"You are out betimes, neighbour Cotton," said the
THE HISTORY OF DAME MITCHELL
last comer of the two;
the same errand."
--L-- L,1- J
"--- 'I ~ JV'L
And in good time,
there has been a swell
coming up in shoals, and
to catch any."
Suppose we make a
fish in concert, share the
"it seems that we are both here on
Ijh / i
too, I trow, friend Shorthose;
of tide last night, the fish are
one must be unhandy indeed not
match, neighbour Cotton; let us
booty between us, and breakfast
-1.--, ~_ __ __~T---L---~--1PI
AND HER CAT.
hands held the fishing-rods, 1
left hand to ratify the treaty.
When Mowmouth saw
hopes began to revive. As s(
he laid hold of them with
feeling an unusual weight,
"There's a bite! there's a 1
up their lines.
"I'll bet you
Mr. Cotton; anc
/| hands with glee,
they struck each other on the
the two lines let down, his
oon as they came within reach
his claws, and the anglers,
exclaimed, in one breath,
bite !" and hastened to draw
i I've caught a barbel!" said
I he would have rubbed his
had they both been disen-
"I must have a fine carp on my hook!"
replied Mr. Shorthose.
He had scarcely finished his sentence before
j Mowmouth leaped upon the parapet.
We are duped !" cried the two fishermen;
and they ran after the unlucky quadruped so
wonderfully rescued from the stream, but the
cat ran faster than they did and got away easily.
As soon as he found himself alone again, he stopped to take
breath, examined the houses, and not finding any of them
like his own, very naturally concluded his home was not
there. It was necessary, however, to get a birth some-
where, for he was shivering with cold and panting after the
pursuit he had undergone: nor could he stay longer in the
street without exposing himself to an inflammation of the
lungs. Guided by the light of an oven, he made his way
into the underground workshop of a famous baker, squatted
himself behind a pile of bread-baskets, and gradually fell
By and by he was roused by his hunger.
Mowmouth was the offspring of poor parents, who had
turned him adrift at a tender age; he had been reared in
the street, obliged to find his own living, and had his cha-
racter formed in the school of adversity. He was there-
380 THE HISTORY OF DAME MITCHELL
fore a perfect master of the art and mystery of catching rats
and mice, which cats of noble houses often neglect to prac-
tise. He set himself on the watch, and surprised a mouse
who had left its hole to eat the flour; he sprang upon the
rash adventurer, describing what geometricians call a
parabola, and bit his mouth to prevent his crying. But
this chase, although skilfully managed and occasioning little
noise, attracted the attention of the young journeyman
"Hold, here's a cat cried the lad, seizing a shovel.
The master baker turned round, and seeing Mowmouth
eating a mouse, said to the young journeyman, "Don't
hurt him; you see he is doing us a service."
"But where, I wonder, did he come from ?"
'"What matter, if he is useful here," replied the baker,
who was a baker of cultivated mind, and whose learning
had reached the fourth class. Eat, puss, eat, continued
he," stooping to caress Mowmouth; swallow as many
mice as you can, there will still be too many remaining."
The.cat took advantage of.this permission.. -After he
AND HER CAT.
had appeased his appetite, he wished to withdraw and go in
search of Lady Greenford's house; but the baker prevented
Stop a bit," said he, I wanted a good cat; and as
God has sent me one, I should never forgive myself were
I to let him go. Hollo, James! close up every opening,
and if the rogue tries to make off, give him three or four
blows with the broom."
Thus it happened that Mowmouth's host became his
tyrant: so true it is that personal interest will deprave and
corrupt the best natures. Our cat, as if he had understood
what was doing, sprang without hesitation upon the shoul-
ders of the journeyman, and thence into the public way.
A new danger, however, presented itself: startled by this
sudden apparition, a huge bull-dog couched before him.
------- -- -- --
Mowmouth would have gladly avoided so disproportioned
a struggle; but the dog's eyes were riveted upon him: he
watched every move; turned with Mowmouth first to the
right and then to the left, and growled in a threatening
voice. Both stood still upon the watch: the bull-dog with
~a! ~z~---------~-~--- -- ____5
THE HISTORY OF DAME MITCHELL
his paws stretched out, his teeth closed, his body drawn
back: the cat with his mouth open, his back erect, his head
down and projecting. Neither seemed inclined to commence
hostilities. At length the dog rushed upon his adversary;
but the latter adroitly turned aside, leaped over him, and
fled along the bank of the river. The bull-dog hurried in
pursuit: away they ran, darting through the crowd, and
gliding between the carriages; while all the stray dogs
they encountered instinctively joined in the pursuit, so that
in a minute or two the unhappy Mowmouth had between
twenty and thirty of them at his heels.
-. -~ A-.r
r, --- -Us
"1I am undone,"
" but at least I will sell my
He stood with his back to the wall and assumed a look
of defiance: gnashing his teeth, his hair on end, he looked
upon his numerous enemies with an eye so menacing that
all drew back with one accord. Taking advantage of their
perplexity, Mowmouth wheeled suddenly about, and sped
AND HER CAT
up a wall. He was now beyond the reach of the dogs, but
was not yet out of danger: if he did but slip, if his strength
forsook him, if the plaster of the wall should give way
beneath his claws, behold there were twenty open mouths
hungering for their prey, and ready to mangle him the
minute he fell.
Meanwhile Dame Mitchell had spent the fight in tears
and sobs: she could not be comforted for the loss of Mow-
mouth; she was for ever calling on him in a voice of
lamentation; and (if the old song may be relied on) she
was heard to cry from the window, Who will restore him
The next day, at the first blush of mormno'n. hf tfrp-
cherous Sharpphiz appeared before Dame Mitchell
said to her, "Well, my dear fellow-servant, have
found him ?"
No, alas!" muttered she: "have you any tidings
respecting him ?"
"Nothing certain," returned the butler, who only
wanted to tease the poor woman; "but I dreamt about
him the whole night. I saw him in my dream, pale and
wan, like a cat in very bad health."
Where was it you saw him ?"
"I fancied he was in a garden, at the foot of a lilac.
On hearing this Dame Mitchell ran out into the garden,
where, as you may guess, she did not find her missing
favourite. The whole of that day Sharpphiz took pleasure
in deluding her with false expectations, which were of course
only followed by disappointments, which became more and
more bitter every time.
Dame Mitchell," said he to her, "just now, as I was
passing by the pantry door, I thought I heard the mewing
of a cat."
Dame Mitchell hastened into the pantry, but saw no-
thing of her favourite.
THE HISTORY OF DAME MITCHELL
Another time he came up to her out of breath, and ex-
claimed, "At length we have caught him! I am all but
certain he is groping about in the cellar."
And then the credulous dame would venture into the
dark vaults of the cellar, where nothing but rats were to be
As it was growing dusk, Sharpphiz began to hum the
words which have been transmitted to us in the following
Dame Mitchell make haste,
I have found out your cat:
He is up in the garret,
Giving chase to a rat;
With his sword in his paw,
And his gun made of straw."
There was a cruel mockery in these words. For to
assert that Mowmouth was hunting the rats with a sword
and a gun made of straw, was alleging a thing altogether
^" -? ^0
AND HER CAT.
improbable. But Dame Mitchell's grief and ahxiet
so greatly disturbed her, that she sought for any th
feed her hopes.
"In the garret, is, he?"' cried the dame, withol
timing the rest of the sentence. "Let us go, my de
let us go there and look for him. Let me lean on
arm, for I am so perplexed, so disconcerted, and so
with fatigue, that I have not strength enough left
both bent their way to the
with a lantern in her hand,
I every attic. But no living
garret, and Dame
went through and
creature was to be
"You have been mistaken once more," muttered the
Not so, not so," answered the wicked butler; "let us
continue the search, and we shall find him at last: I know
we shall. We have not looked in that nook yonder,. behind
the wood bundles."
The credulous dame went up
to the spot pointed out to her,
and, to the utter amazement of
the deceitful Sharpphiz, the ;''"
cat, whom he thought he had.
drowned, lay there alive and /
hearty, and his eyes gleamed
with indignation at his foe.
"It is he, it is he, indeed!" cried Dame Mitchell, in
ecstasy, as she caught up Mowmouth in her arms. Oh!
my dear, dear Mister Sharpphiz! my good and trusty
friend, how thankful I am that you brought me here !"
The surly butler was not much gratified with these
praises, which he felt he did not deserve. Pale, shivering,
rooted to the spot where he was standing, he hung down
his head in the presence of his victim, thus unaccountably
restored, to life. And yet there was no wonder in it:
I I f00y C
86 THE HISTORY OF DAME MITCHELL AND HER CAT.
Mowmouth, hunted by the dogs, had climbed over a wall,
and leaping along from street to street, from garden to gar
den, from one house-top to another, had at last made his way
iji'i l~i' l IIITj
home; and, fearing the implacable resentment of his deadly
foe, he had dreaded to show himself, but lay skulking in
DAME MITCHELL'S CAT BAFFLES HIS ENEMY.
OVERJOYED at the recovery of her charge, and fearing
she might be again deprived of Mowmouth, and of the
benefits she anticipated to derive from her care of him,
Dame Mitchell. became still more attentive and watchful.
Mowmouth, on his part, knowing the man he had to deal
with, determined to shun the butler, or, if needs were, to
fight him with teeth and claws. As for Daddy Sharpphiz,
it was enough for him to know his designs had been fru-
strated to make him persist in them; and he now desired the
ruin of poor, innocent Mowmouth, not out of mere jealousy
to Dame Mitchell, but out of enmity to the cat himself.
Oh, intolerable vexation!" cried he, in a bitter tone;
"I ought to hide myself in a desert, or bury myself in the
bowels of the earth! What, I! Jeremy Sharpphiz, a ma-
ture man, a man of learning and experience, and, I may ven-
ture to say, a delightful companion, am overcome, baffled,
and duped by a pitiful cat! I left him at the bottom of
the river, and found him afterwards at the top of the house.
I wanted to sever him from his protectress, and have only
strengthened their attachment. I carried Dame Mitchell
to the garret to torment her, instead of which I had to wit-
ness her delight. The cat I believed to be dead has ap-
THE HISTORY OF DAME MITCHELL
peared again to flout me.
me." And then Daddy S
and gloomy meditation.
Mowmouth had not yet
dined, and he strove, by
expressive me wings, to sig-
nify that he should be glad
of some refreshment. Dame
Mitchell immediately said
to him(for she used to speak
to him as to a rational crea-
But he shall soon cease to brave
;harpphiz sunk into a fit of deep
Have patience, sir, you j
shall be attended to di- ,
She went down to the
drawing-room, where she __ --
generally sat since Lady
Greenford's departure: and the cat, who followed her was
manifestly disappointed on seeing her go towards Sharp-
phiz's apartment. Nevertheless, he entered it along with
her, being persuaded that, in the presence of so faithful a
friend, the butler durst not attempt any new treason.
When she knocked at the door. Daddv Sharnnh;i han
up a piece
of green paper inscribed with
AND HER CAT
That's the thing for me," said
in his pocket; ratsbanee must also
losing Mowmouth shall prove it."
What can I do for you, worthy
"It is five o'clock, Mr. Sharppt
putting the paper
catsbane, and our
iiz, and you are for-
getting my cat."
SI, forget him !" exclaimed the butler, joining his hands,
as if he felt grieved by the remark: "I was this moment
thinking of him. I am going to make him such a nice de-
licious pie that he will long for it every day."
Thank you, Mr. Sharpphiz; I shall not fail to inform
the countess of your attention to her favourite. I have
-received a letter from
her this very day: she
tells me that she will
shortly return home,
that she trusts to find
, Mowmouth in good
case, and that she
a/zege., means to give me a
You will readily con-
ceive my delight, Mr. Sharpphiz. My sister is left a widow
with four children to bring up, to whom I send every year
all my little savings; hitherto this assistance has been very
trifling, but now, thanks to the Countess's presents, these
poor children may be sent to school and afterwards put to
learn a good trade."
As she spoke,DI)ame Mitchell's eyes glistened with joy
through her tears, for she felt the delight which springs
from the contemplation of good deeds. But the wicked
butler was not moved. He had so fully resigned himself
to his evil passions that they completely enslaved him, and
smothered by degrees every good feeling, as the foul tares,
if allowed to grow, stifle the wholesome corn.
One would have thought that Mowmouth understood
(7f / /2
THE HISTORY OF DAME MITCHELL
what this man said; for he crawled up to the place where
Dame Mitchell had sat down to chat for a while, and, after
entreating her with his looks, began to pull her by the
gown, as much as to say, "Let us go away from here."
"Take care !" said the excellent dame, "you will tear
But Mowmouth repeated the action.
"Do you want to go out ? resumed the dame.
Mowmouth capered briskly.
"Positively," added she, "this cat is never at his ease
out of the drawing-room."
So she got up and left the room: Mowmouth leading
the way and jumping for joy.
A quarter of an hour later, the butler had prepared a
most savoury pie, made of poultry, the best white bread,
and other ingredients, deservedly esteemed by gourmands.
After having introduced
a large dose of ratsbane,
She set it down in the ante-
chamber to the drawing-
S"room, and, throwing open
the door, he cried out,-
Sli" Sir, your dinner is
I I1 ready."
(I! I On beholding this deli-
i cate fare, Mowmouth
1 trembled with delight,
for confess it we must,
-__ he was something of a
AND HER CAT.
dainty feeder. He stretched out his nose towards the plate,
but the moment after he drew it away with an erect back;
for a most noxious and villanous smell had penetrated his
nostrils. He walked round the plate, smelt it again, and
then again drew away from it. The sagacious animal had
smelt the poison.
"How, singular this is !" said Dame Mitchell; and, after
vainly offering the plate to her cat, she went to look for
Sharpphiz, to tell him what she had seen. The traitor
heard her with suppressed vexation.
"What!" said he, "did he refuse to eat? In that
case, I suppose, he was not
"I suppose so, too, Mr.
splendid one; I should no
almost tempted to taste it,
" And why so, pray ?
Sharpphiz, for your pie looks a
t disdain it myself; and I am
to set Mowmouth an example."
When Daddy Sharp-
phiz heard this obser-
vation, in spite of his
hardness of heart, he
could not help shud-
dering. For a mo-
ment he shrunk with
horror from his crime,
and he said, eagerly,
to the worthy dame,-
"For Heaven's sake
do nothing of the sort."
Is there any thing unwholesome
in the pie ? "
No, of course not," stammered Daddy
"but food for a cat is not food for a Christian. -
Ve must all
keep our places, and not debase the dignity of human
Dame Mitchell yielded to this reasoning, and said with
"Well, well, let Mowmouth do as he pleases! I won't
THE HISTORY OF DAME MITCHELL
submit to all
nothing else !"
I shall give
The next day the pasty was still untouched. The but-
ler had hoped that hunger would have urged the cat to
feast upon the poisoned food, but Mowmouth knew how to
bear misfortune; so he endured abstinence, and lived upon
scraps and dry crusts, and shrunk with dismay every time
his guardian presented to him the fatal dish, which was at
last forgotten and put away in a corner of a cupboard in
Daddy Sharpphiz waxed very wrath when he saw that
his plot had not succeeded. His wish to get rid of Mow-
mouth became quite a mania: he thought of it by day and
by night. Every letter received from Lady Greenford, in
which she inquired about the cat, and renewed her promise
of rewarding Dame Mitchell, only served to goad on the
blind fury of their enemy. He devised the most villanous
schemes to encompass the death of Mowmouth without im-
plicating himself, but none of them appeared to him to be
so sure in their effects as he wished. At length, however,
he resolved on this one:-
In Dame Mitchell's room stood a marble
bust of the Great Duke of Marlbo-
rough, which represented him in a
Roman cuirass and a wig interwoven
with laurels. Behind this bust was an
oval window which gave light to a
Staircase, and exactly beneath it, in
Dame Mitchell's room, lay the soft
cushion which was Mowmouth's bed,
so that the bust would be certain to
Ssmash him, if the bust could only con-
Strive to fall of itself.
S So, one evening, Daddy Sharpphiz
stole, without making the least noise,
Mitchell's. chamber, opened the oval window,
AND HER CAT. 43
taking care not to shut it to again, and then as softly with-
drew. At midnight, when the whole of the domestics were
asleep, he took his stand on the staircase, facing the oval
window, and leaned heavily back against the banisters,
and with the help of a long broom, pushed the bust over,
which fell down upon the cushion with a terrific crash.
ILI f li
The wicked man had foreseen the effect of this manoeuvre:
it was the signal of his triumph, and Mowmouth's death.
Nevertheless, when he heard the bust roll upon the floor,
he was seized with a panic, and fled back in terror to his
Dame Mitchell had started up in bed, out of her sleep:
she was in utter darkness and could get no light; for in those
days they had not the advantage of our modern lucifers.
At first her surprise and affright were so great, that she
could not collect her senses; but she soon began to cry out,
"Thieves! thieves!" as loud as she could bawl. The whole
house was roused in a trice, and all the servants came run-
ning in to know what was the matter. Sharpphiz came
THE HISTORY OF DAME MITCHELLi
last of all, with a long cotton nightcap
altogether in a very elegant nightgear.
on his head, and
--- --- --- ----
II _--- ------
has been going on?" he asked.
it now," replied the housekeeper; "it
Great Duke of Marlborough which has
"Psha!" said Daddy Sharpphiz, feigning astonishment;
"but, if so, your cat must have been struck on the head by
But, as he uttered this speech, Mowmouth crept from
under the bed, and sprang up to Dame Mitchell for pro-
tection. The butler was thunderstruck.
AND HER CAT.
Every body knows how light is the sleep of a cat:
mouth, whose custom was to sleep with one eye at
had got up at once on hearing a noise behind the ova
most animals he was inquisitive, and tried to find ou
ever astonished him. He therefore stationed himself
f in the
middle of the room, the better to observe what could be the
reason why a long broom should enter at that late hour,
and by so strange a channel. Frightened by the fall of the
bust, he ran under the bed to a place of refuge.
They gave Dame Mitchell a glass of water, with some-
thing else in it, to restore her spirits; they picked up the
great warrior, who had broken both his nose and chin, and
had lost half his wig in the fray; and then every one went
back to bed again.
"Escaped once more," said Sharpphiz to himself; "he
will always escape me I suppose! I shall not be able to
send him to sleep with his forefathers before my lady re-
turns. Dame Mitchell will have the pension of one hundred
THE HISTORY OF DAME MITCHELL AND HER CAT.
pounds, whilst I shall continue as poor as Job. That
abominable cat distrusts me; whatever I myself attempt
against him is doomed to miscarry :-positively I must have
I I ii
~~--C---~- _L ~-------
--- .----I'--~ ~-~~~------
-----*~1----- ~~L-------- ----i
------- -- --
-I----~ --I------ ~-
-II----- ---- -----'
HOW DADDY SHARPPHIZ IMPARTED HIS VILLANOUS DESIGNS TO
SO then Daddy Sharpphiz began to look about him for
an accomplice. His first thought had been to choose him
among the servants of the household; but he reflected that
they were all of them on the best terms with Dame Mit-
chell, that they might sell him, and have him ignominiously
expelled from a mansion in which he filled so honourable
and lucrative a post; and yet he wanted an accomplice.
From what rank ought he to choose him? what should be
v his age? and on what terms
ought he to agree with him?
SBrooding over these thoughts,
/ 7\ the butler went out one morn-
ing, about half-past six o'clock,
to saunter along the river-side.
) As soon as he had passed the
Doorway, he remarked, on the'
opposite side of the street, a tall
^ >i~- rawboned woman, clad in a dress
of showy colours. This good
woman had hollow eyes, a yellow, tawny skin, a nose peaked
like a parrot's, and a face all covered with wrinkles. She was
48 THE HISTORY OF DAME MITCHELL
talking to a lad of fourteen, or thereabout, whose clothes were
in tatters, but whose countenance was open and sprightly.
Daddy Sharpphiz thought he remembered this funny old
woman, though he could not tell where he had seen her.
If he had been less moody and thoughtful, he would have
taken more time to recollect, but his wish to do away with
the cat completely occupied his attention ; so he went along,
with heavy brow, his head bent down, his arms crossed over
his breast, and'his eyes fixed towards the earth, as if he
expected the wished-for accomplice to rise up before him.
He wandered along in this state for some time, and so much
had his evil passions inflamed him, that the morning breeze
fanned him without cooling his blood.; nor could the sight
of the clear blue sky, or the singing of the birds, as they
chased one another along the banks of the stream, awaken
in him those calm and tender feelings, with which all good
people are inspired at the dawn of day.
When he returned, the old woman was gone; but her
juvenile companion was still at the same spot, sitting on a
post, and seemed to be scanning Lady Greenford's mansion
with steadfast attention. Sharpphiz went up to him, and
addressed him in these terms:-
"What are you doing there, my lad?"
Nothing at all; I am looking at that house."
"That I could have told you; but why do you look
"Because I think it very grand, and should like to live
in it; how happy one must be inside of it !"
Why, yes," replied the butler, emphatically; "people
do live there very comfortably. Who was that woman you
were speaking to just now ?"
"It was Mrs. Crustychin."
"Mrs. Crustychin, the famous fortune-teller, who lives
yonder, at the other end of the street ?"
"The very same."
"Do you know her?" -
AND HER CAT.
"I should think I did! I run on errands for her."
"Indeed. Pray what did the old woman say to you ?"
She told me, if I could enter the mansion as a servant,
I should lead a pleasant life."
"Lady Greenford is from home, my man; and her
establishment is quite complete."
What a pity!" replied the lad, sighing deeply.
Sharpphiz went on a step or two, as if to go in, put his
hand to the knocker, and then turned round and walked
back to the boy.
"What's your name ?"
"Nicholas; after my father: but I am more frequently
called by the nickname of Crankey."
What trade do you follow?"
As yet I have none: my father works on the river;
as for me, I live how I can, from hand to mouth. I run
on errands; I catch birds and sell them; I pick up rusty
THE HISTORY OF DAME MITCHELL
nails out of the gutters and sell them to the storekeepers; I
hold gentlemen's horses, and open the doors of hackney
coaches; sometimes I play dummy in the booths at a fair;
at others, act the character of Jack the lamplighter; and
now and then I sing a sea song to amuse the sailors.
But all these trades, sir, put together, are not worth one
honest calling, and I find it hard to get bread every day."
I feel for you," replied Daddy Sharpphiz, and I am
almost inclined to give you an opportunity of doing well.
Tell me, Crankey, have you a taste for cookery?"
"Egad! I am fond of eating and drinking; but my
means are too limited to indulge my taste."
I do n't want to know, you booby, if you like good
living; I merely ask you if you have any skill in cookery."
"I have never tried my hand at it."
Well, Crankey, I will instruct you: come, follow me: I
will feed and clothe you at my own expense until the arrival
of Lady Greenford. She is a good-natured woman, and
will most likely keep you; but, if she should not, your
AND HER CAT.
education will have been partly begun, and you may get
another place elsewhere."
"Do you belong to the establishment of the countess?"
"I am her butler," said Daddy Sharpphiz, haughtily.
The lad's eyes sparkled with joy;
he bowed very low to the butler,
and said with delight, "Oh, sir,
how grateful do I feel!"
S Nicholas was installed the same day,
and heartily welcomed by the other
servants. He was a spruce, lively
boy, good-humoured, active, and
he felt a-wward in his
lie felt awkward in his
livery and new office, he showed a great deal of willingness.
i Nicholas," said the butler, a few days after, to his new
D5 -THE HISTORY 3F DAME MITCHELL
friend, "it is well for you to know the house. There is in
this house a powerful favourite who rules like a sovereign
whose will is law, whose whims must be obeyed-and that
favourite is a cat. If you wish to be in the good books of
the whole household, you must try to please Mowmouth;
and if the cat, Mowmouth, honours you with his countenance,
you may depend upon winning the favour both of Lady
Greenford and her housekeeper, Dame Mitchell."
"The cat shall be my friend, and I will be the cat's
friend," returned the young fellow, with assurance.
And truly, after this hint, he loaded Mowmouth with so
much attention, caresses, and good offices, that the latter,
though distrustful by nature, conceived a lively attachment
to Nicholas; he would follow him with pleasure, look
kindly upon him, and invite him by his gambols to play.
all f, ,
Dame Mitchell was almost jealous of the young lad; whilst
Daddy Sharpphiz, who had his end in view, laughed in his
sleeve, and rubbed his hands with glee.
One evening he called Nicholas into his room, and
carefully shut the door, after looking to see that there
were no eaves-droppers. Mowmouth is your friend," said
he to him; "you have followed my instructions to the
I am likely to stop, am I not?" asked the lad.
"Very likely; are you happy in your place ? "
Perfectly so; for I who used to live on dry and black
AND, HER CAT.
bread, have now got my four meals a day; I used to wear
a dirty smock-frock full of holes, and breeches full of patches,
and now I am dressed like a prince; I don't suffer from the
cold, and instead of sleeping in the open air, I have an ex-
cellent bed to lie in,. in which I dream of gingerbread and
,? -.> k---> -'.'i' '//^' /?-
Daddy Sharpphiz leant his chin on his right hand, and
looked full in the boy's face, as he replied; And suppose,
now, you were obliged to go back to the vagabond life I took
c"I think I should die of grief, if I was."
"And you would do any thing to keep your present
I would do any thing."
"Any thing, without exception?"
"' Without exception."
Well, this is what I command you to do. Mowmouth
follows you every where; to-morrow you shall entice him
into the garden, at nightfall;. you shall put him into a bag
which I have made for the purpose, you shall pull up the
strings of the bag-
"And then?" said Nicholas, beginning to stare.
THE HISTORY OF DAME
We will each take a stick,
have killed the beast."
and beat the
bag until we
"Never! never!" cried the
I' poor lad, whose hair stood on
end with fright.
"Then tie up your things
and go about your business;
I discharge you."
"You turn me away!" cried
young Nicholas, lifting his
hands towards heaven.
"I will not even allow you
five minutes' warning to be
off; you depend upon me in this house, on me alone!"
The unfortunate Nicholas began to cry, and the butler
added in a fierce voice; "Come, make no faces! pull off
your clothes, put on your tatters, and be off."
After this speech, Sharpphiz took down from a cupboard
the miserable rags that Nicholas had on the day he entered
his place; he held them disdainfully between his finger and
thumb, and threw them on the floor. The lad looked with
a heavy heart at the clothes he then wore, compared them
with his old ones, and as the comparison was not in their
favour, he sobbed aloud. Still he was resolved not to
purchase his finery at the price of a murder, and' by a
treacherous act. He took off his coat, and his waistcoat,
MlT CHE LL
AND HER CAT. 55
without faltering; but, at the thought of relinquishing his
new shoes, to go barefooted, as formerly, over road of
gravel and broken glass, the unhappy Nicholas could not
help hesitating a little, and Daddy Sharpphiz, who narrowly
watched him, availed himself like a consummate diplomatist
of the circumstance.
Blockhead!" said he, "you reject the opportunity of
being happy, when your happiness can be secured at so easy
a rate. If I spoke to you of killing a man, I could under-
stand I could approve of your scruples; but I simply ask
you to destroy a cat, a pitiful cat! Why should you shrink
from it ? What is a cat ? Nothing! less than nothing. Nobody
sets any value on a cat; the piemen cook them, and serve
them up to their customers, the most renowned physicians
try their experiments upon them, and kill them by hun-
dreds. So little are they valued, that when one of them
gives birth to seven or eight kittens only one is kept, and
the rest flung into the river."
But Mowmouth is grown up, Mowmouth is reared
and bred," said Nicholas, sadly; "and, what's more than
all, I love him."
You love him! you dare to love him!" cried the but-
ler, with immoderate rage. "Well, for my part, I hate
him; and he shall die!"
But what'has he done to you ?"
Never mind; I say he shall die! That's enough."
"Forgive him," cried Nicholas; falling down upon his
knees before the unrelenting Sharpphiz.
I will not forgive him," answered the butler, snarl-
ingly. "I will not forgive either him or you. Come,
go; be off this instant! It rains in torrents: you will be
soaked with wet, and die of cold this night-so much the
better! Ah! you love Mowmouth! Do you ?'
A fierce and heavy rain, mingled with hail, was heard
to beat against the window frames of the room, and the
wind began to howl along the galleries of' the man-
56 THE HISTORY OF -DAME IITOHELL AND HER CAT.
sion. Poor Nicholas bethought him of the cold he was
about to suffer, the privations which awaited him, the
smallness of his means, the largeness of his appetite, and
how painful it was to lie all the long night under the bleak
arches of a bridge. Evil thoughts seized him, as he mut-
tered to himself the words of Daddy Sharpphiz What
is a cat ?
Sharpphiz," said he, still weeping, do not turn
I will do whatever you bid me."
To-mrrow, at the hour of twi-
ai/ light, you must entice Mow-
1 mouth into the garden."
/" Yes, Mr. Sharpphiz."
"You must then put him into
Yes, Mr. Sharpphiz."
'And strike when I strike."
The reply to this last injunction
did not come spontaneously.
changed colour, his legs sunk beneath him; at
bent his head, and letting one of his arms fall
y the side of his body, he stammered out, in a low,
"Yes, Mr. Sharpphiz.
HOW DADDY SHARPPHIZ IS RAISED TO THE HEIGHT OF HUMAN BLISS, AND
DAME MITCHELL'S CAT FALLS INTO THE LOWEST DEPTH OF MISERY.
SHARPPHIZ had fixed upon the morrow to put an end
to the existence of Mowmouth, because he knew it was the
day on which Dame Mitchell would be going to carry her
savings to the coach-office for her sister.
Nicholas had been very dejected during the entire day,
and when the fatal hour had arrived, his misgivings of the
previous day again assailed him. When Dame Mitchell
Said to him, before she went out:-" Watch over Mow-
mouth, I leave him to your care, and play with him, to
keep up his spirits whilst I am away;" the worthy lad felt
his heart sink within him, and his native honesty rebelled.
Come, there is not a moment to be lost," said Daddy
Sharpphiz, 'here's the bag; go you, and look for the cat."
Nicholas once more entreated the butler to be merciful:
he was eloquent, there was grief even in his voice, he de-
livered a most moving address, but without gaining his
cause. The monster was implacable, and repeated his
threats; nothing less than the cat's death would satisfy
him; and Nicholas, subdued by the spirit of evil, was
forced to obey.
Mowmouth was accordingly enticed into the garden;
he followed his perfidious friend with as much reliance as
the lamb follows the butcher, and, when least he expected
58 THE HISTORY OF DAME MITCHELL
the trick, he found himself immured in the bag which
was meant to be his.
who had hid himself,
armed with two
enormous clubs, one
of which he offered
his accomplice; and,
then seizing the bag,
he cried out,"Come!
now to work, and
give no quarter."
Nicholas did not e ---------- _
hear him -he was
quite bewildered: his haggard eyes rolled in their sockets,
his face was deadly pale, his mouth open, his arm unnerved.
Daddy Sharpphiz, stimulated by the hope of immediate
vengeance, did not notice his companion; but throwing down
the bag on the ground, he raised his stick, and was about
to apply it lustily, when the small garden-door was opened.
Cursed interruption!" muttered he. "Nicholas, hide
yourself in the thicket; I will join you directly;" and
then going up to the person who had just entered the gar-
den, he was petrified to behold Dame Mitchell. At first
he fancied she had been led to return by some fleeting
suspicion, or instinctive presentiment; but her first words
set his mind at rest on that score.
I am obliged to put off my walk, for I have just
described Lady Greenford's carriage; it is obliged to go a
roundabout way, on account of the mending of the road,
and I have managed to get here before her, by coming in
through the little gate. Come, Mr. Sharpphiz; come, as-
'ast as you can, to meet our good mistress."
I will follow you directly, madam," said the butler;
then using his hand as a speaking trumpet, he cried out to
Nicholas, "Strike on yourself! strike till the cat has
AND B ER CAT
ceased to move !" and thereupon he overtook Dame Mit-
chell in the front-yard, where all the servants had already
fallen into line, like a well-disciplined battalion.
On alighting from her carriage, Lady Greenford ho-
noured her servants with a look of kindness, embraced her
housekeeper with touching familiarity, and inquired after
Your favourite is quite well," said Dame Mitchell,
" he grows perceptibly fat and handsome every day; but
one may say, without stretching the truth, that his moral
qualities are even superior to his physical advantages."
"Poor thing! if he did not love me, he would be
an ungrateful monster; for since our separation I have
thought of him perpetually. Death has bereaved me of
many creatures whom I cherished, but Mowmouth shall
live to comfort my old age."
As soon as the Countess had given the orders conse-
quent upon her arrival, she requested Dame Mitchell to
bring Mowmouth to her. The latter replied, He will be
delighted to see you again, madam; he is now in the gar-
den, under the care of Nicholas, a young lad whom the
THE HISTORY OF DAME MITCHELL AND HER CAT.
butler thought fit to
the rogue and the
become two intimate friends."
The housekeeper then went to the garden, and found Ni-
cholas by himself, sitting on a bench, and peeling, with a look
of abstraction, a branch of box-tree which he had in his hand.
My lad," said she, the Countess desires you to take
Mowmouth to her."
"9 Mowmouth !" stammered out Nicholas, shuddering at
the sound of that name, as if he had been stung by a wasp.
Yes, Mowmouth; I thought he was with you."
He has just left me; some people who were passing
by made a noise which frightened him, and he ran off and
took shelter in the shrubbery."
Dame Mitchell spent half an hour and more in running
about the garden, and then returned to Lady Greenford,
and said to her, Mowmouth is absent for the moment,
my lady, but don't be uneasy; he left us once before, and
we found him again in the garret."
Let him be sought for directly! I will not wait; I
must see him at once."
Alas! the wish could hardly be gratified, if we mioht
trust to the words which were
between Sharpphiz and his accon
"Well, did you strike ?"
"Yes, Mr. Sharp-
phiz, I struck till the cat
left off stirring."
What have you
done with the body ?"
I threw it into the
He no longer moved."
Besides, the bag was tightly drawn," said
"justice is done!"
DAME MITCHELL LOOKING FOR HER CAT.
SEVERAL days passed away in painful suspense; but,
like the great General Marlborough, the cat did not return.
The despair of Lady Greenford was deep-seated. She con-
stantly called to mind her
Mowmouth's pretty ways, his
good nature, his attachment
to her, his superior intelli-
gence. Generous in her mis-
fortune, she did not reproach
S_ Dame Mitchell; but rather
u_ sought to appease the poor
S-,_ _woman, who was overwhelmed
with grief. She said to her
one evening, How can you help an irresistible misfortune ?
We must submit to the decrees of Providence."
"I am of your opinion," replied Dame Mitchell; "if I
believed, like you, that Mowmouth was dead, I would
resign myself without a murmur to his loss; but I think
he is still living: I fancy him wandering about the town,
exposed to all manner of ill-treatment, and to the sauce-
pans of a host of cruel persecutors."
"Go, go, you only deceive yourself; Mowmouth is dead,
or he would have come back to us by this time."
62 THE HISTORY OF DAME MITCHELL
"Something convinces me he is still living; and, if
your ladyship were only to apply-"
To whom ?"
"To our neighbour, Mrs. Crustychin, the famous for-
tune-teller, who predicts what is to happen in the future,
draws the cards, removes freckles from the face, reads the
book of fate, and cures the toothach."
Fie, fie, Dame Mitchell! Can you, who are a woman
of sense, place any reliance on the tricks of an impostor?"
But, my lady, I am not the only one; the greatest
lords and ladies visit Mrs. Crustychin: she is more learned
and not so dear as other fortune-tellers, and, for the small
sum of ten shillings, will show young girls the faces of their
That's enough, that's enough," replied the Countess,
drily. Dame Mitchell held her tongue; but her mind was
made up, and as soon as she had a moment to spare, she ran
off to the house of Mrs. Crustychin, whom she found in a
spacious apartment richly furnished, for she gained a great
deal of money by cheating the public: black velvet hang-
ings, dotted with tinsel stars, covered the walls; and in the
middle of the room stood a square table, on which were
placed several obelisks, made of painted tin: bottles, con-
AND HER CAT.
training various reptiles, preserved in spirits; and numerous
chemical instruments; the very uses of which were unknown
to the sorceress, but which she had placed there to impose
upon the weak people by whom she was consulted. She at
first exhibited some little embarrassment at the sight of
Dame Mitchell; but after shutting a glass-door which led
into another room, she returned to receive her new client,
and said to her with a solemn voice,
What is it you wish for ?"
"To inquire into the 'past, the present, and the future."
"I can satisfy your wishes," replied Mrs. Crustychin,
"but you seek after high game, and that will cost you three
"Here they are; and I willingly give them."
Mrs. Crustychin pocketed the money, not without a
twinge or two of regret that she had not asked a good'deal
more, and thus began:
Tell me the month, and the day of your birth?"
"The 24th of May, 1698."
Tell me the first letters of your Christian name, sur-
name, and native place."
A, R, M, H, L, S."
Dame Mitchell was called Amelia Rachel, and had been
twelve years the widow of Francis Mitchell, a butter-taster
in London; and was born at Houghton-le-Spring.
"Which is your favourite flower ?"
After these customary questions, the fortune-teller
examined some coffee-grounds in a saucer, and said, "Phal-
darus, genius of occult science, informs me that you are in
quest of a being that you dearly love."
Dame Mitchell started in her seat with surprise. Mrs.
Crustychin continued: This being is not a man; it is a
quadruped, and either a dog or a cat;-and a spirit reveals
to me that it is a cat."
Dame Mitchell grew more and more satisfied; and the
64 THE HISTORY OF DAME MITCHELL
fortune-teller, without giving her time to recover herself,
took up a pack of cards, shuffled them, had them cut three
several times, set the table in symmetrical order, and gravely
"Your cat is the knave of clubs; let us see what he is
after. One, two, three, four; the ten of spades! He is a
rover, and fond of travelling; he sets out at night to see
the lions of London. One, two, three, four; the- queen of
spades! This is a woman who makes ermine furs out of
catskins! One, two, three, four; the knave of spades!
This is a rag-merchant. One, two, three, four; the king
of spades! This is a pieman. The meeting of these three
persons terrifies me.
One, two, three, four;
clubs! One, two, three,
four; clubs again One,
two, three, four; more
clubs! Your cat will
make money for these
three persons: the rag-
merchant wants to kill s
him, to sell his skin to i j
the furrier, and his body
to the pieman, who will serve him up to his customers
as very nice tender veal. Now let us see whether your
cat will be able to elude his persecutors? One, two, three,
four; seven of spades! Alas, it's all over, madam, your
poor cat is no more !"
"The cannibals have eaten him!" exclaimed Dame
Mitchell, thunderstruck by this revelation, and she heard
in her fancy a doleful mewing, the last cry of agony uttered
by Mowmouth; but it was no illusion this time: a cat had
really mewed, and was still mewing in the adjoining room.
A pane in the glass-door was suddenly burst in and shat-
tered to pieces, and Mowmouth in person fell at Dame
AND HER CAT.
From t.he top of a cupboard he had caught sight of his
affectionate guardian, had called upon her several times;
and, as she did not answer
him, in his delirium he had
sprung against the door, a ai
through which he had just I
forced his way.
"What! my cat was i
here all the while!" said ii
Dame Mitchell; you v s
must have stolen him i
But my mistress is power- I
ful; my mistress is Lady
Greenford; and she will
have you punished as you j
As she vented these <, ~?'; P
threats, the housekeeper
put Mowmouth under her arm, and was leaving the room,
when Mrs. Crustychin stopped her, and said to her: "Do
not ruin me, I implore you; I did not steal the cat."
"Thbn how does he happen to be here?"
"I received him from a young lad named Nicholas; he
gave me this cat, which I had long coveted, and whose
singular shape, and almost supernatural manners, was
likely' to make him a most triumphant assistant in cabalis-
tic conjurations. That's the whole truth; and, now I
beg of yQu not to injure me, through your mistress."
The Countess will act as she pleases," answered Dame
Mitchell disdainfully, and she vanished with her cat. She
made but one step from Mrs. Crustychin's to the mansion;
and seemed to heve on the Ogre's seven league boots. She
went straight to the drawing-room, where she arrived puff-.
ing and blowing, and not being able to speak, she held up
Mowmouth to Lady Greenford. The Countess on recog-.
nising the cat, uttered a cry of joy so loud, that the whole
THE HISTORY OF DAME MITCHELL
neighbourhood of Cheyne Walk was quite frightened from
Sharpphiz was present at this touching scene; but on
beholding the cat, he was so dumfounded, that he lost his
reason for a moment. He fancied that this cat, so often
recovered, must be a fantastic being, capable of speaking
like the beasts in fables, and he cried out with amazement
I am undone !
Mowmouth will denounce me!"
KI I 1 4-1 k\\\l
CONCLUSION.-SATISFACTORY TO ALL, EXCEPT THE
AS soon as Lady Greenford had learnt how Mowmouth
was recovered, she summoned young Nicholas to her
said the butler
eagerly, for he
wanted to prepare his accomplice, and was ruminating
what pretext to use.
No, stay here! you let him into the house, you shall
see him discharged, and that may teach you to be more
cautious, for the time to come, whom you set trust in."
Sharpphiz remained, and, having recovered himself after
his first sense of stupefaction, he resolved boldly to deny
the charge if Nicholas durst accuse -him.
When he was ushered into the drawing-room, Nicholas
did not wait to be questioned. "My lady," said he, "the
presence of your cat explains to me why you have sent for
me here;, but I am not so guilty as I appear; allow me to
"What would be the use?" replied Lady Greenford;
" you cannot clear yourself."
The butler now fancied he ought to brave it out, and
observed ironically: I am curious to see by what unlikely
story this blackguard will try to impose on you;" and as he
said this slowly and measuredly, he seemed to add with his
eyes: "If you dare to accuse me, beware !"
I I 1 L
THE HISTORY OF DAME MITCHELL
Undismayed by this
must own it, my lady,
threat, Nicholas thus began:
I entered this mansion with
design of stealing your cat; the fortune-teller wanted him
to play the part of the spirit Astorath, and she had bribed
me with the promise of a silver crown-piece and a pair of
strong shoes. But I was so well treated, and Mowmouth
was so nice a cat, that I gave up my guilty design; never,
no never, should I have fulfilled it, had I not seen the
necessity of removing Mowmouth, and screening him from
the malice of an enemy, all the more dangerous because he
Whom does he allude to ?" inquired Daddy Sharpphiz.
To y,-i! to you, who said to me: Kill Mowmouth, or
I will turn you away.' "
"I! what I said so! you impudent liar! Oh. Lady
41 -- .--.7 --
Greenford, you know me too well not to distinguish between
my solemn denial and the declaration of this ungrateful
"Nicholas," said the Countess, knitting her brows,
"you have made a very grave charge; have you any proofs
to sustain it ?"
AND HER CAT. *9
"Proofs! no, alas! my lady, I have none; but J am
ready to protest to you-
"Enough," interrupted the Countess; "do not add
calumny to the crime of theft: leave my sight this instant."
Poor Nicholas wanted to be heard again; but, at a sign
from Lady Greenford, the butler seized him by the collar,
and thrust him from the door without further ceremony,
and gave him, as they went down the staircase, so good a
kicking as made him even with his dupe.
-- ---- -- ---_ ~9S
However the sins of Daddy Sharpphiz were not to go
unpunished much longer; that very day, Dame Mitchell,
on going-to clean out the cupboard in the ante-chamber, was
much astonished to find there three dead rats and mice.
She was wondering how they had died, when her eyes fell
upon the famous pie which her cat had refused to eat, and
which had been left there and forgotten. Two mice lay
dead in the very plate, so subtle and violent was the poison.
This new discovery tore away the veil which concealed the
past transgressions of Daddy Sharpphiz. Dame Mitchell,
guessing thereby that the charges of young Nicholas were
THE HISTORY OF DAME MITCHELL
well founded, hastened to apprize Lady G
advised her to take no notice, but send for tI
Have you got any ratsbane?" said she.
"Yes, my lady, I must have some left."
"Put it in the ante-chamber then; you
thought to do so."
"No, my lady; I did not know there we
part of the mansion."
Lady Greenford wrote to a celebrated
having analysed the pie, declared that it co
digious quantity of poison. The butler's c
1 have not yet
.re rats in that
ntained a pro-
rime was now
made manifest; but fresh charges were soon raised against
him. The adventure of the two hosiers of the Strand,
Shorthose and Cotton, had spread abroad; Nicholas heard
it related, and discovered a witness who had seen Sharpphiz
throw the cat over the bridge. The butler, confounded
and overwhelmed, did not wait to be discharged; he fled
AND HER CAT
from the mansion, and, in order to avoid Lady Greenford's
vengeance, he embarked as a cook on board a merchant
vessel sailing for Virginia.
Some time after they heard that this vessel had been
wrecked on the coast of Newfoundland, and that the savages
had eaten Mr. Sharpphiz. The story goes on to say that
as he was breathing his last, he uttered but one name, that
of Mowmouth. But what brought that name to his guilty
mind ? Was it remorse ? or was it merely the last outburst
of a hatred that nothing could appease ? The story has left
this point undetermined.
Lady Greenford's health had been much impaired by
the severe shocks she had formerly experienced at the loss
of her pet animals. The tenderness and docility of Mow-
mouth might possibly have served to reconcile her to life.
But that respectable lady had reached an age when affliction
is the more bitterly felt. Dame Mitchell was grieved to
find her one morning dead in her bed; yet her face was
so placid, and bore .so truly the impress of her many good
72 THE HISTORY OF DAME MITCHELL
qualities, that she seemed only to be sleeping. She was
just entering upon her seventy-ninth year.
By her will, which was in the custody of her solicitor,
she had secured to Mowmouth and her housekeeper an
income of one hundred and twenty pounds, to revert to the
survivor in case one of the legatees should die..
Dame Mitchell retired to her sister's, whose children
she provided for, one and all. She fixed upon a pretty
little cottage at Richmond as her residence; it was situated
near the river, with a sloping lawn before it.
Nicholas, reinstated in his old situation, had atoned for
his misconduct by a long course of good behaviour. He
might have risen to a high rank as a cook, but he felt
more inclined to serve the state, and enlisted at the age of
AND HER CAT.
sixteen in a regiment of foot. He took part in the expe-
dition to Quebec, under the great General Wolfe, and was
made corporal after the capture of that city on the 13th of
September, 1759. As soon as he had obtained his dis-
charge, he returned to live with Dame Mitchell, for whom
he felt a truly filial attachment. To the stormy periods
of their lives peaceful and happy days now succeeded, the
course of which was enlivened by the growing qualities of
Our cat had, henceforward, no enemy: but, on the
contrary, won the esteem and affection of all his tribe.
His adventures had brought him into notice. Besides the
song, of which we grieve to say only two verses remain,
the poets of that age wrote in his praise a round number of
odes and epistles which have not reached posterity. The
most distinguished men of that time went to see him, and
on one occasion even His Majesty King George the Second
stopped with him for a few minutes, on his way to
Hampton Court. A great lady at court chose Mowmouth
a mate, who was both gentle and pretty, and whose paw he
gratefully accepted. He soon became a father; and this
event completed both his own happiness and that of Dame
Mitchell, for that excellent woman was delighted with the
growing progeny of her beloved cat.
Reader, you wish, perhaps, to know what afterwards
became of Mowmouth? He died! but not until he had
run a long and happy career. His eyes, as they were
about to close, were blessed with the sight of his afflicted
children and grand-children, who were grouped around his
bed. His mortal remains were not treated like those of
common cats. Dame Mitchell caused a magnificent monu-
ment of white marble to be raised to his memory. This
monument was of a colossal size; but the only record we
now possess of it, is an engraving, in the seventh volume of
the Archseologia," which represents the figure of Mow-
mouth in a sitting posture; an article accompanying it
74 THE HISTORY OF DAME MITCHELL AND HER CAT.
informs us that, according to a custom prevailing at that
time in the sepulture of illustrious personages, they en-
graved upon the base of the tomb of Mowmouth an epitaph
which a learned professor of the University of Oxford had
composed to his honour.
ia~';~t~qqy~,s~Y~-~e--ro~, ~ d
)~~~~P~~-~Y'-TC __YBW~ ~L ~c-"rp~ I~A;LB4' ~-k\=_-~~.-
-- -- -
"~c~-~rr------ ---------- ---
I~) -1 t- 19
.,."P~' ~ 4
~s", ~ \C7I
yC==;~- ---.'---. _F- __I-~
KZZ-Z-- '-Ls----N L
r nv v--
THE STRANGE AND INTERESTING ADVENTURES
AND HIS LITTLE SISTER.
THAT beautiful marble castle, which rises in the midst of
a placid lake, and spreads itself out beneath the sunny sky,
is the abode of Prince Orfano-Orfana. The twelve ter-
races leading to it are covered with evergreen plane-trees,
firs, and poplars, and citron and orange shrubs covered
with fruit the colour of gold. The last of those terraces
is planted with rose-trees of Messina, which, when ruffled
by the evening breeze, diffuse around a sweet and refresh-
ing perfume. This castle was built on one of the Borro-
mean Isles by Prince Orfano-Orfana's ancestors, who were
formerly the most powerful lords of Piedmont; and, in
JQU A R T
THE ADVENTURES OF PRINCE HEM.PSEED.
consequence of its great splendour, the castle was called
the Pearl of Lake Major.
You know that Lake Major is at the north-western
entrance of Italy, in the domains of the King of Sardinia,
and situate in the midst of a fertile and smiling plain. It
appears on the opposite side of the Alps, immediately after
you leave the frontiers of Savoy.
The large and numerous rooms in that peerless castle
suited its outward beauty. Nothing could be compared to
the richness of the Persian carpets, the elegance of the
furniture, all made of Indian wood, or the splendour and
endless variety of the gilding. The pictures which adorned
the walls had been painted by the best Italian artists. In
a word, the castle was so charming in all respects, that
Emanuel of Savoy said one
I were not King of Sardinia, I
THE ADVENTURES OF PRINCE HEMPSEED. 81
to be lord of the Orfano-Orfana palace." Such a desire,
formed by a sovereign so justly famed in history, may
spare us the necessity of offering another word of praise
in respect to the castle.
Prince Orfano-Orfana, the master of that splendid man-
sion, who enjoyed vast riches and great power over his
subjects, was blessed with a wife in every way worthy
of him, and with two charming children. The elder was
a son, and was called Leopold-Leopoldini: the younger was
a daughter, and named Olympia after her mother. We
shall tell you presently how it happened that Leopold-Leo-
poldini received the singular name of Prince Hempseed-a
name which he was very proud to bear, and which we have
thought proper to apply to him throughout this history, of
which he is the hero.
Olympia was seven years old: she was rosy-cheeked
and fair haired-lively, graceful, and happy. When she
laughed, she displayed her
beautiful little white teeth;
this happened very often-for
she was always laughing. Upon
her high and open forehead,
and in her eyes, which were
ever in motion, and were as
blue as the pure waters of Lake
S-- Major, you might read intelli-
gence, wit, and gaiety, as well
S- as the pride of her race-for
SAwe must give a correct portrait
of her. Her compressed lips
showed contempt for those who
___ A' dared to wound her feelings in
"--------- any way.. When she did not.
choose to be a good-natured little girl, she gave herself the
airs of a queen. Amiable with her equals, she was very
proud and haughty towards the little village girls whom she
THE ADVENTURES OF PRINCE HEMPREED
met, although the poor children never forgot to offer her
flowers, and to curtsey very low to her as they passed.
As she grew up these faults in her disposition would have
become sad indeed, had not a good education, bestowed
in time, and in a prudent manner, caused her good qualities
to triumph over her defects.
Her brother, Leopold-Leopoldini, whom we shall call
Prince Hempseed, was twelve months older than Olympia:
he was therefore in his eighth year. Picture to yourself a
charming little boy, with an elegant coat of light blue velvet,
such as the great lords of the court wore in those times;
a pair of yellow satin breeches, fastened with ribands at the
knees; a shirt of the whitest linen, beautifully embroidered;
and with a little sword by
his side. On common days
this sword was of simple
steel; but on Sundays and
holidays it was exchanged
for one of mother-of-pearl
He was very much like /
his sister-fair, with a beau- 11
tiful complexion, and rosy-
cheeked as she was. He
possessed her beauty and her
gracefulness, as w.ll as her
petulance and her cheerful- -
ness. But there the likeness -
stopped. Prince Hempseed
showed as much dignity as a child of his age possibly
could possess, but never ill-humour, when with boys of his
own rank; and he conducted himself with amiability and
kindness towards the sons of the boatmen belonging to
Lake Major, and those of the gardeners and vine-dressers
in the valley, whenever accident threw them in his way
They were therefore all much attached to him.
THE ADVENTURES OF PRINCE HEMPSEED. 83
-. ...-. .-- ,=\
_, -~'^ ~---~- acou
This goodness on the part of Prince Hempseed was not
confined to his fellow-creatures: it extended to those beings
which many persons (wicked ones I admit) are not ac-
customed to treat with kindness. Prince Hempseed could
not conceive how people could be cruel to animals, who,
like ourselves, were created by a wise, just, and merciful
Providence: he could not understand how men could ill-
treat the dog, which protects the flock or guards the farm;
the horse, which draws the heavy vehicle; the patient and
docile ass, which carries to market the produce of our fields;
the cat, which prevents the mice from eating the corn; or
the bird, which enlivens with its song the solitude of the
house. He thought to himself, in the most sensible manner,
that since man has taken it upon himself to rule over
animals and deprive them of their liberty, he ought also to
perform the duty of lodging and nourishing them, and in
some measure endeavour to replace that Creator who allows
them to want for nothing in their state of freedom.
As the Castle of Orfano-Orfana was situated upon the
frontiers of Italy, it was constantly visited by those show-
men, strolling-actors, and mountebanks, who passed by on
THE ADVENTURES OF PRINCE HEMPSEED.
their way from Bergami and Milan to seek their fortunes in
France. Those tawny but lively gipsies did not always
meet with a pleasant reception on the part of the servants;
but if they were lucky enough to be perceived by little
Prince Hempseed, they were sure to escape the blows of
the broomstick, and the sharp prongs of the pitch-fork.
He allowed them to enter the castle, and was greatly
pleased with their exhibitions. He also loved to witness
the tricks which they taught the animals by whose sagacity
they earned their living. He inquired of them how they
made a dog play at cards or dominoes, a monkey waltz to
the proper tune, or a bird to pretend to be dead. For a
few small coins, he learnt of them all their secrets, which
are nothing after all than the art of turning to advantage
the instinct of animals-that instinct which is capable of
the utmost perfection. The sight of those tricks and ex-
hibitions, so full of useful instruction, increased in his heart
THE ADVENTURES OF PRINCE HEMPSEED. 85
the kind feelings which he had eyer shown towards dumb
Would you believe that Prince Hempseed was laughed
at for that generous kindness on his part? His father and
mother, who were good themselves, did not blame him for
it; but the maid-servants (who are always a giddy set), the
lacqueys, and the footmen joked him without pity, and took
delight in teazing his pet animals, because by so doing they
teased him. They always had some excuse for neglecting
to give hay to the horses, bran to the donkey, and hempseed
to the birds; and it was in order to make poor little Prince
Leopold-Leopoldini seem as foolish as possible, that, in
allusion to the attentions of all kinds which he showed
towards dumb animals, they surnamed him Prince Hempseed
-hempseed being, as you well know, a large grain on
which many birds feed.
Such is the clear and very simple origin of the surname
which he had received.
The most wicked of all those servants who teazed the
prince was a footman named
SRol, a cruel and vulgar
1 fellow. He was born in
the mountains of the Tyrol,
Swhence come nearly all the
Al .servants employed in Italy,
__and particularly in the
States of Piedmont. As
if Rol carried his heart in
Shis countenance, he was
t- miserably ugly. He con
.-, /. cealed half of his scowling
Face beneath his long, un-
combed, rough red hair. His nose, which stuck up in the
air, was very wide at its root between the eyes, which were
of a green shade, with an orbit of black spots, like the eves
of a snake. His mouth was wide, and shaped like a half
THE ADVENTURES OF PRINCE HEMPSEED.
moon, or the opening of an oven; and displayed six teeth
like those of a wild boar. Thousands of little red spots,
like pimples, marked his
face, the skin of which,
by its roughness, its colour,
and the thick red down
which covered the lower
part, instead of a beard,
seemed like a late autumn
peach ripened by the rain.
The .hideous grossness of
his form made him appear
short. Drinking and glut-
tony had given him fat,
but not health. He mis-
? took his brutality for
-- 7'- strength, and his strength
for courage. Rol was
never so happy as when
he could break his riding
whip over the back of a
Horse, snap a cornel-tree
-- stick across the head of a
poor donkey, or bestow a
savage kick upon Turnspit, the faithful dog of the castle.
The unhappy animals, guided by their instinct, tried all
they could to avoid him; or else they grew irritable, and
showed their anger in various ways when they could not
escape his blows. He was their tormentor.
"It is all for their good, my lord," he would say to
Prince Orfano-Orfana, when this nobleman, moved by the
prayers of his son, Prince Hempseed, reproached Rol for
ill-treating the animals; and that ill-treatment continued
just the same.
The little prince, fancying that he observed in the breast
of his sister Olympia that kind feeling which he sought for
THE ADVENTURES OF PRINCE HEMPSEED, 87
in vain amongst others, said to her one day, "Would you
believe it, dear sister ? I found Emerald and Topaz nearly
dead with hunger. Poor dear little birds!"
Canaries are not so scarce in Italy," answered Olympia,
" that you cannot replace Emerald and Topaz, whom you
seem to pity so much."
But that is not all, sister."
Have you any misfortune more serious to tell me?"
said Olympia, in a mocking manner.
Zug, the monkey who amuses us so much, has also
been ill-treated by Rol," added Prince Hempseed. "He
tied a squib to his tail the other evening, and then he put a
spark to the fire-work. Zug, who ran about in all directions,
knocking against everything that came in his way, so much
was he frightened, was almost burnt to death. I have just
been to see him: the poor creature quite made me cry.
Moaning in a low and plaintive manner, he showed me
his scorched hands:-Oh you would have cried too-"
"And should the ugly monkey die-"
What do you say, sister ? Did not Zug always please
you with his antics, his grimaces, his jumps, and his thousand
tricks ? Do we owe nothing to those who for years exert
themselves to charm our
idle hours ?"
Should you not like
me to ask papa to send for
the doctor to see your mon-
"And why should he
not ? '.
"In the first place, the
doctor would not come,"
Then he would be P ____ r
wrong, dear sister," replied
Prince Hempseed "But I myself have already done all
THE ADVENTURES OF PRINCE HEMPSEED.
I could for Zug. I have carefully wrapped up his hand
in a piece of linen."
"Oh! how silly!" cried Olympia.
"Do you not think, sister, that it is quite as silly to
put a doll into a cradle, rock it for hours together, pretend
that it is ill, and watch over it ?"
Thinking that her brother was laughing at her, Olym-
pia would not answer him; and, on his side, Prince
Hempseed believed that the best thing he could do was
to keep to himself his compassion, kindness, and careful
attentions for the animals.
The castle of Prince Orfano-Orfana was built precisely
upon the plan of the king's palaces, and contained a mena-
gerie, and an aviary full of curious birds. Everything that
could make even a king
happy was found in that
castle, which excited the
admiration of all persons,
and the envy of many.
Several noblemen de- i
dared that a king alone
ought to possess so splen- ,
did an abode; and they
accused Prince Orfano- .
Orfana of outshining the
Court of Turin by the _-
number of his servants, .
the splendour of his
household, and the ele-
gance of his castle. These o.
spiteful sayings were
spread from one to
another about the court, where they were greedily listened
to; and they reached the ears of the king, who was weak
enough to believe them, and unwise enough to think over
them. From that moment Prince Orfano-Orfana lost
THE ADVENTURES OF PRINCE HEMPSEED. 89
favour at the court. But, as it always happens in such
cases, he was the last to learn his disgrace, which was only
to be made known to him in a manner terrible indeed.
Before we relate the consequences of that disgrace, let
us draw up a short but very necessary list of those animals
towards which Prince Hempseed showed so much kindness
-a kindness that was speedily to be put to a harsh test!
There is a close and touching connexion between the
history of Prince Orfano-Orfana, whom false friends be-
trayed, and that of his son, who did not forsake those poor
animals, whose good friend he was.
To tell the truth, he loved all well-behaved animals,
and took care of all. Beautiful swans, with plumage as
soft as satin, swam in ponds the margins of which were
made of porphyry; and on the same pieces of water were
seen sweet little birds from Barbary, Asia, and America,
with feathers the colour of gold, and eyes like garnets. The
prince was compelled to take more care of those animals
which, not having cost much to purchase, were considered
of little value by the servants, and were therefore worse
treated than the rest.
We shall name a few of those less fortunate creatures,
against which Rol showed the greatest spite.
First of all was the castle
-_ dog-a faithful animal, but
not particularly handsome.
How could he have been,
indeed, constantly teased,
beaten, pulled by the ears,
and shaken by the Tyrolese
SRol? And yet he was faith-
-- 7 ful, a good watcher, never
sleeping with both eyes at a time, and so sagacious that he
could guess the very thoughts of little Prince Hempseed
at the least sign which he made.
This dog was neither called Cesar, nor Poato, uor Tray;
90 THE ADVENTURES OF PRINCE HEMPSEED.
but plain Turnspit. In those times dogs were used to turn
the roasting-spit by means of a large hollow wheel in which
they were placed. That very simple machine called a jack,
now everywhere seen for turning the spit, did not exist
then. You may judge, then, whether the poor dog we are
speaking of was not well named, and whether he did not
deserve some little kindness.
The kindness which Rol the Tyrolese showed to Turn-
spit was this:-When the dog had been hard at work for
five or six hours, turning the spit, and was out of breath
with fatigue, and dying with hunger and thirst, Rol used to
take a good piece of the meat which the poor thing had
itself helped to roast. This he would place in the wheel,
from which he took good care first to remove the dog: then,
he made the wheel go round, and Turnspit, famished and
miserable as he was, saw the nice piece of meat passing
by his very nose again and again without being able to
reach it. Having thus tortured
Sj the unhappy Turnspit all the
-I -, evening, Rol would throw him a
sorry crust of hard bread, and leave
the delicious piece of meat hanging
Sin the wheel.
Next came the two Canary birds.
F One was called Emerald, because
LLi it was green; and the other Topaz,
Aslim, ~.~l because its feathers were yellow.
How they did chirrup! what pretty
airs they sang, so long as a ray of
the sun penetrated into their cages, and sported with the
water in their crystal bowls. The delight of the prince
was to pour plenty of seed into their trough; and Rol's
enjoyment was to empty out the seed, when the prince's
back was turned, and supply its place with sand. It is
frightful to think of the misery to which the poor birds
THE ADVENTURES OF PRINCE HEMPSEED.
As for the house cat, loved as it
seed, he did not escape the spite of
name was Coco.
He was an Angora
of the finest species,
black as night, and
with a coat as soft
and silky as that of
abear. His peevish
look; his saffron-
yellow eyes, full of
cunning and mel-
ancholy by turns;
long, straight, and
fierce as those of
a grenadier, all
these did not pre-
vent him from.
was by Prince Hemp-
the wicked Rol. His
being of a very
sociable disposition, and mild in his manners. He was a
polite cat, and knew a great deal of the world. He and
Turnspit were so friendly together, that no.one who saw
them could ever again say of a quarrelsome married couple
that "they lived a cat and dog life." These two poor
creatures were very fond of each other, and always played
together under the table.
No ove will ever guess what cruelty Rol was guilty of
towards poor Coco; and I am afraid that you will not
believe me when I tell you. He used to heat the tongs in
the fire, and then catch hold of the paws of the cat with
them; so that the poor animal always mewed more or less
according to the heat of the tongs. The cunning tyrant
called that "teaching the cat music;" and indeed Coco's
mewings did change its tones and notes so as to produce an
92 THE ADVENTURES OF PRINCE HEMPSEED.
air which would have made any one laugh who could not
see why the poor cat did it.
Very changeful in his cruelties, Rol put in force a
strange kind of punishment against the monkey Zug, in
whose favour the prince had so uselessly spoken to his sister
Olympia. He began by boring several holes in two large
walnut shells, which he then placed over little heaps of
Turkish grain-a food that Zug liked very much. In order
to get at the grain, Zug thrust his fingers greedily through
the holes in the nut-shells; and when he felt the grain
underneath, he closed his hands, which is the habit of crea-
tures of his species. Then he put the shells to his mouth;
but he could not possibly eat the Turkey corn-the shells
were in the way. He ought to have let the grain fall
first, and the shells next, and then have picked up the corn,
which was a plan simple enough no doubt, but quite beyond
the instinct of monkeys. And Rol knew that perfectly
well. Caught in this shameful net, Zug would sometimes
scamper all across the park, climb up the trees, or run along
the tops of walls, holding the shells all the while in his
hands without being able to make up his mind to let them
go in order to get at the Turkish corn. Thus he usually
went without any Turkish corn at all!
You must confess that such a man was as bad as the
Roman emperor Nero, who was as cruel to man as Rol was to
animals. Every one has ever since hated the name of Nero.
The donkey, another of Rol's victims, had nothing to
protect him save the hardness of his skin. How many
knotted sticks had been broken over his back! And yet
he was the most good-natured and active of donkeys. His
coat was grey and as smooth as the varnished wood of a
fig-tree he was also striped like that of a zebra. He gal-
loped, when he chose, as quick as the wind, with his ears
upright, his eyes beaming with satisfaction, and his nostrils
snuffing the welcome odour of the clover and sainfoin, as he
THE ADVENTURES OF PRINCE HEMPSEED.
scampered over the green fields, carrying
eggs, and fruits. He
was so docile so
under the ill-treat-
ment which he en-
dured, in the shape
of privations and
blows, that the people
of the castle and its
neighbourhood had -
all agreed in calling m -a
We have only now
to market flowers,
to speak of three other victims of' the wicked Rol: these
were, the magpie, the red parrot, and the pigeon, whom
that bad man hated and ill-treated as much as he could,
and who would have died very soon had it not been for the
kindness of good little Prince Hempseed.
The magpie had a name as well as the cat, the monkey,
and the donkey, and just as suitable as their's. Fond of
talking, and as full of gossip as any old washerwoman, she
was called Chatterbox. Indeed, she was always chattering.
But the words that she loved best were "a halfpenny! a
halfpenny! a halfpenny!" And
this was the reason: every morn-
ing when he came to the cage of
Sd his favourite magpie, Prince
Hempseed said, "Here is a half-
penny to buy some nice cream
cheese for Chatterbox." By
always hearing the same thing,
the magpie had got by heart
the word "halfpenny," which
-Pher liking for cream cheese made
-her constantly repeat.
1 ~% ,